Riley feels good. Rip ‘N Time feels good. “Let’s do it. Bring it on. No time like the present,” thought Riley. So just minutes before the Battle of the Bands, Riley summons the spirits of the Seven Legends of the Guitar. She recalls the advice given by each Legend, and combines these words of wisdom to form a single power of sound. Riley feels strong . . . and ready for battle.
Riley was surprised, then, to see everyone else just kind of –well, just a little too relaxed—nonchalant. It wasn’t just a pose– they weren’t compensating for a hidden fear. It seemed as if this Battle of the Bands was just a hoot– an adventure–exciting and fun. But they didn’t seem to comprehend what was at stake –the danger of it all, for God’s sake!
From the other side of the aisle (Langston, Akemi and Vincent), the feeling was, “Hey we’re doing well –we’re playing unbelievably great as a unit– the Playing Her Guitar Suite was never better. We are a young band. If we don’t win this time, we’ll get’em next time.” All of Riley’s exhortations and dire warnings were pretty much taken as hyperbole . . . “She’s just trying to psyche us up– keep us going– make us play better.” And as far as the Magical Land of Guitar and the Seven Legends, well that just enhanced the theme park vibe.So it really was a variation on the ‘Failure to Communicate’ theme. It was a classic case of rock ‘n’ roll band inner conflict. The leader thinks that the other members aren’t taking the band seriously enough, while the other members believe that the leader is taking things way too seriously. Of course–in this unique instance–it was a whole lot more than a common variety, communication and conflict issue; and Riley was unquestionably in the right.
Nevertheless, it was bound to come down to this, and a resolution was imminent and totally necessary. Langston spoke first, while Riley’s posture revealed an aura that the band had never seen before.
Riley had delivered her answers with such authority and seriousness that the band was truly taken aback, and they all fell silent for the tiniest of moments. By the expressions on each member’s face, Riley was now certain: “We all are ready, now.”